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Concert Program Cover

Second Concert of the 72nd Season

It's a Wonderful Concert

Sunday, December 5th, 2010
Cordier Auditorium
Scott Humphries, Conductor

  Sleigh Ride Leroy Anderson  
  Fantasia on "Greensleeves" Ralph Vaughan Williams  
  Adapted from the opera Sir John in Love
by Ralph Greaves
  It's a Wonderful Life Dmitri Tiomkin  
  With the Manchester College A Cappella Choir  

I. Prelude
II. Wonderful Life Theme
III. Nightmare: George is Unborn
IV. Christmas Eve Finale

  Christmas Singalong John Finnegan  
  Excerpts from Messiah George Frederic Handel  
  With the Manchester College A Cappella Choir
Dr. Debra Lynn, conducting

I. Sinfony
II. Recit. -- "Comfort Ye" -- Andrew Miller, tenor
III. Air -- "Every Valley Shall Be Exalted" -- Wallace Butts, tenor
IV. Chorus -- "And the Glory of the Lord"
V. Recit. -- "Thus saith the Lord" -- Daniel Myers-Bowman, baritone
VI. Air -- "But Who may Abide the Day of His Coming -- Daniel Myers-Bowman
VII. Recit. -- "Behold, a Virgin shall Conceive" -- Darcy Robbins, mezzo-soprano
VIII. Air & Chorus -- "O Thou that Tellest Good Tidings to Zion" -- Darcy Robbins
IX. Recit. -- "For Behold, Darkness shall Cover the Earth" -- Alex Drew, baritone
X. Air -- "The People that Walked in Darkness" -- Alex Drew
XI. Chorus -- "For unto Us a Child is Born"
XII. Pifa
XIII. Recit. -- "There were Shepherds Abiding in the Field" -- Cassandra Whitaker, soprano
XIV. Recit. -- "And, Lo the Angel of the Lord came upon them" -- Cassandra Whitaker
XV. Recit. -- "And the Angel said unto them" -- Cassandra Whitaker
XVI. Recit. -- "And Suddenly there was with the Angel" -- Cassandra Whitaker
XVII. Chorus -- "Glory to God"
XVIII. Air. -- "Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion" -- Cassandra Whitaker
XIX. Chorus -- "Lift Up your Heads, O ye Gates"
XX. Chorus -- "Hallelujah"


Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

  Sleigh Ride Leroy Anderson

Leroy AndersonLeroy Anderson was born in Cambridge, Mass., in 1908, and died in Woodbury, Conn., in 1975. He is best known for his attractive melodies and jaunty rhythms in such pieces as The Syncopated Clock and Sleigh Ride. He was also notable for his use of unconventional instruments, as in The Typewriter and The Sandpaper Ballet (a typewriter and sandpaper were both used as instruments).

Anderson studied composition at Harvard with Georges Enesco and Walter Piston. He was a linguist, specializing in German and Scandinavian languages, and served with U.S. Intelligence in Iceland and the U.S. during the Second World War.

  Fantasia on "Greensleeves" Ralph Vaughan-Williams

Ralph Vaughan-WilliamsRalph Vaughan-Williams ("Ralph" is universally pronounced "Rafe" in the U.K.) is arguably the greatest British symphonic composer of the 20th Century.  He is known primarily as a symphonist, having written nine of them. But he also wrote operas, incidental music, and suites. He loved folk music, and incorporated it in his own music.

Today, we hear his Fantasia on "Greensleeves." There is much debate about the origin of the tune and the meaning of its words. Rumor has it that it was written by Henry V, making references to the rejection of his advances by the maiden of his choice. But there is no evidence that he wrote the work. Its earliest report is found in Trinity College, Dublin, dated 1580. Like so many tunes of folk origin, it has been used by countless composers down through the ages. Green had some sexual connotations in the past, and sometimes was an allusion to a "loose woman." Her skirts would show green stains from having been outdoors in an interesting position, but that would be refuted by the words that went with the music, where she "discourteously rejects" the advances of her lover. In Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, Mistress Ford refers twice to the tune of Greensleeves without explanation. It is a very old tune.

  It's a Wonderful Life Dmitri Tiomkin

Dmitri TiomkinDmitri Tiomkin is a sort of chameleon of film score composers. He could write for Westerns, Comedies, Romances, Thrillers, and other genres. He had no pretensions as a classical composer, but his music, like that of fellow composer Erich Korngold, was classical by origin. When he received one of many Academy Awards (for The High and the Mighty), he didn't thank his wife, his mother, his director, or his pet cat; he thanked "Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner, Strauss, and Rimsky-Korsakov." Later, he said that if he had continued as a "classical" composer, he couldn't have ever been one of those composers. At best, he said he might have become a "good Rachmaninoff."

Born in Russia, he studied under Alexander Glazunov at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He briefly played the piano to accompany silent films before he moved, first to Paris, and then to the U.S. He gave the first performance of Gershwin's Concerto in F in Europe. In America, he found his calling. He declared that he was writing "music for a machine in the age of machines."

Some of the many scores he wrote were for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Meet John Doe, You Can't Take it with You, Duel in the Sun, Friendly Persuasion, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Rio Bravo, and Red River, to name a few. I suspect you are very familiar with his music.

Today, we will hear what is perhaps his most beloved score, for the Frank Capra film It's a Wonderful Life. It might surprise you to know that he hated that score as it was heard in the movie, and would never listen to it after the film came out. Here is what Tiomkin had to say about his most popular score: "The picture was in the best Capra style. Frank thinks it the finest he ever made. I never saw it after it was completed. After the music was on the sound track, Frank cut it, switched sections around, and patched it up, an all-around scissors job. After that I didn't want to hear it."

  Excerpts from Messiah George Frederic Handel

George Frederic HandelGeorge (or Georg) Frideric Handel (or Händel), that German-born British subject who wrote Italian music, was a bundle of contradictions. The varied spelling of his name reflects the mobility of artists and composers common to that period. Names were often spelled according to the practice of the country of residence. He spelled his name "Handel" on his petition for British citizenship.

Handel had a complex personality. On the one hand, he was pious and sentimental to the point of crying over his own music when it dealt with the sufferings of the Lord. On the other hand, he had an uncontrollable temper which prompted associates to play practical jokes on him, sometimes resulting in violence. A prankster once untuned all the instruments just before a concert for the Prince of Wales, and Handel was so enraged that he picked up a kettle-drum and threw it at the concertmaster. He was persuaded to continue the concert only after the Prince made a personal plea.

Handel had no patience with incompetence, but he did have a sense of humor. When a singer complaining about Handel's style of accompaniment threatened to jump on the harpsichord and smash it to pieces, Handel calmly replied that if the singer gave ample warning, he would publicize the event, because he was sure that more people would come to watch the singer jump on a harpsichord than to hear him sing.

Handel was an almost exact contemporary of J.S. Bach, born in the same year and dying nine years later than Bach. They had similar backgrounds, came from the same part of Germany, were both devout Protestants, but they were temperamentally quite different. While Bach remained steadfastly middle class and spent his meager earnings on raising a large family, Handel was a cosmopolitan who traveled widely, made and lost fortunes, and mingled with the aristocracy and the intellectual elite.

He was overwhelmed by Italy, where he spent much time. His Italianate operas were very successful, and brought him great fame in England soon after he arrived there. In the span of less than forty years, he wrote forty-six operas, all in Italian style. When the public's interest in Italian opera began to wane, Handel began to work more in the oratorio form. His "second career" made him even more famous, and today he is known mostly for his oratorios, of which his Messiah is the most performed.


Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

  Violin I
Dessie Arnold, Concertmaster
Lois Clond
Paula Merriman
Rachel Nowak +^
Ilona Orban
Liisa Wiljer

Violin II
Joyce Dubach *
Martha Barker
Erin Cole +^
Jennifer Iannuzzelli +^
Tyler Krempasky +
Linda Kummernuss
Alyssa Loos +^

Naida MacDermid *
Kelsey Airgood +^
Julie Sadler
Margaret Sklenar

Robert Lynn *
Margery Latchaw

Darrel Fiene *

Barbi Pyrah

Kathy Urbani *
Kathy Davis
Barbi Pyrah

George Donner *
Nyssa Gore

English Horn
George Donner
Lila D. Hammer *
Mark W. Huntington
Sarah Leininger +^

Erich Zummack *

John Morse *
Carol Campos +^
Kristen Hoffman +^
Christen Humphries

Steven Hammer *
Nicholas Kenny +^

Jon Hartman *
Larry Dockter

Dave Robbins *

Dave Robbins *
Todd Eastis +

Debra Lynn

Alan Chambers

Tim Reed

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
^ Denotes Keister Scholarship recipient

Manchester A Cappella Choir Personnel

  Soprano I
Casey Faricelli
Aliyah Johnson
Lila Hammer +
Caitlin Kessler +
Holly Rittenhouse +
Kimberlee Weaver
Cassie Whitaker +

Soprano II
Nicole Glassley
Emily Goins
Kaylee Hawley *+
Emilie Hunt
Kelly Iler
Sheila Prather
Darcy Robins *+

Alto I
Megan Bucher *
Elena Bohlander +
Katy Dunlap
Kay Guyer *+
Angelina Jung
Genevieve Kidwell
Brittany Stevens
Carrie Waits
Miriam Zielinski

Alto II
Melissa Byler
Tonya Colwell
Aimee Hoffbauer
Sha' Howard
Brittany Kurtz
Shanice Logan
Katy McFadden *
Jessica Rinehart +
Angela Smith
Tenor I
Wallace Butts *+
Andrew Miller +
Kahler Willits

Tenor II
Raymond Jackson
Robert Bucher +
Nick King
David Myrick +
Jeremy Walters

Bass I
Alex Drew +
Daniel Myers-Bowman *+
Will Rhudy +
Jeremiah Sanders +
Chris Teeters

Bass II
Dylan Hiner
Derek Jones
Phil Keim
Kyle Leffel *+
Craig Morphew

* Denotes section leaders
+ Denotes semi-chorus

Debra Lynn, conductor
Alan Chambers, rehearsal pianist
Matthew Tarte, sectional pianist